Gifted & Talented
Definition of Giftedness
New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:8-3.1 defines students who are gifted and talented as those students who possess or demonstrate high levels of ability in one or more content areas when compared to their chronological peers in the local district and who require modification of their educational program if they are to achieve in accordance with their capabilities. Because gifted children are so diverse, not all exhibit all characteristics all of the time. However, there are common characteristics that many gifted individuals share.
How Frequent is the Incidence of Giftedness?
Research shows that 6% of children possess exceptional learning traits. Intellectual giftedness crosses all economic and cultural boundaries. (US Office of Civil Rights) Students from a variety of backgrounds and experiences may be identified as gifted. Students receiving these services may also receive special education services or services as English Language Learners.
Gifted and Talented Goals
- Use multiple measures for ongoing identification of gifted & talented students to support their unique learning needs
- Ensure equal access to a continuum of gifted & talented education services
- Provide the necessary instructional adaptations via differentiated classroom instruction to extend, accelerate, and further engage this unique group of learners
- Provide students with advanced learning experiences at an appropriate level of challenge based on multiple measures used in the identification process
- Design, develop and document appropriate curricular and instructional modifications that are supported by research and aligned with, and extend the general classroom curricula
- Provide support and professional development for faculty who have responsibility for students with exceptional potential
- Annual evaluation of the effectiveness of the gifted and talented program at addressing students’ needs
Gifted and Talented Identification Procedures
Phase 1: Identification or Nomination
- All students in grades 7-11 are given a universal screening assessment, the district’s Fall administration of the NWEA MAP ELA and Math assessments.
- Scores from the MAP NWEA assessments are locally normed, and students in the 95th percentile, based on our district data, are automatically flagged for additional testing.
- In addition to the universal screener, any student in the district can be nominated for additional testing by parents, guardians, teachers, school counselors, and administrators, or by self.
Phase 2: Screening Phase
- Once nominated or reaching the universal screener criteria, a portfolio is built for each child through the screening process, using multiple measures, including but not limited to the Cognitive Aptitude Test (CoGAT) and Teacher Observation Inventory (TOI).
- CoGAT Testing for all students who were pre-qualified and/or nominated for G&T testing.
- More details are found in the testing matrix and via the video for parents about CoGAT testing linked to the right-hand side of this webpage.
Phase 3: Placement and Services
- Testing results will be shared with the student and family, building principal, guidance counselor, case manager (if applicable), and classroom teachers to ensure instructional differentiation, allowing each student to perform at their highest potential.
- Students have an individualized Gifted Service Plan developed by the Coordinator of Gifted Programming. The plan supports instructional differentiation and advanced learning opportunities occur in the classroom setting in alignment with a student's instructional level and the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.
Continuum of Services
- Enrichment within the classroom: Differentiated instruction is practiced at all grade levels and content areas to meet the needs of all students in their classroom daily. Through ongoing assessment and flexible grouping, teachers tailor instruction to challenge and motivate students. Gifted and talented programming provides identified students with robust, differentiated embedded experiences within the classroom setting. The purpose of Kingsway Regional School District’s Gifted and Talented (G&T) program is to offer exceptionally able students with academic challenges and advanced learning opportunities so they may achieve in accordance with their capabilities.
- Accommodations in the Classroom: Instructional accommodations and modifications are implemented at all grade levels and content areas to meet the needs of all students in their classroom daily.
- Accelerated Classes: Students in middle and high school have the opportunity to take advanced, honors, and/or advanced placement courses in a variety of subjects. Advanced/Honors courses are offered in grades 7 through 12 and are rigorous classes that move at a faster pace and cover more material than a non-accelerated class. Advanced Placement Courses (also called AP Courses) are offered in grades 9 through 12. They are college-level classes that give students who receive high scores on the AP Exam the opportunity to receive college credit. Additionally, the district offers two Academy Programs, STEM and BLA, which include a rigorous four-year course of study for qualifying students. Students also have the opportunity to audition for accelerated courses in the performing arts.
- Enrichment Classes: Students in grades 7-12 can take enrichment (AE) classes through participation in various elective courses that focus on project-based learning. Project-based learning (also referred to as problem-based learning) is a teaching approach that challenges students through real-world problems and investigations, leading to more profound content knowledge and increased critical thinking skills.
- Academic Acceleration in High School: Early Graduation: Students in grades 9-12 who are capable (i.e. intellectual capability, maturity, and motivation) of meeting all requirements to complete high school in three years, can do so. Pupils accepted in the early graduation program, at the time of graduation, will be afforded all-academic honors identified as such by the graduating class.
Gifted and Talented Contact Information
If you have a question about Gifted and Talented programming at Kingsway, don’t hesitate to contact the District’s Gifted & Talented Program Coordinator, Nicole Cammarota-Verasco, via phone at 856.467.3300 Ext. 1039 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gifted & Talented Appeals
Rationale: In order to ensure equity, another option for assessment of gifts and talents will be offered to students who may not perform as well on a test-based measure or for any other reason as indicated on an appeal form. In order to provide an equitable opportunity for such an appeal, the modality of the assessment will change.
Process: Any parent or guardian who wishes to appeal the identification decisions for a child who was tested via the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) may request an appeal using this form. An appeal can be requested for any reason and all appeals will be honored. Please click here to access the G&T Appeal Form.
Pursuant to A4710 1R: Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act, the following information must be provided to file a complaint alleging that Kingsway Regional School District is not in compliance with the provisions of the Act. The alleged noncompliance must have occurred within one year of filing the complaint.
Please note: The complaint process is different from an appeal for the placement of a student. The complaint process only deals with alleged procedural compliance as outlined in the Act. This process will yield no change to prior student placement decisions. Should the District be found to be in non-compliance with the Act, remediation of the Gifted and Talented Program will take place. The complaint shall include:
- The name, address, and contact information of the complainant; and
- A statement that the identified school district is not in compliance with the provisions of this act, and the specific facts on which the allegation of non-compliance is based.
- An individual who believes that a school district has not complied with the provisions of this Act may file a complaint with the Superintendent. Based on the decision of the Superintendent to affirm, reject, or modify the District’s action in the matter, the individual may file a petition of the appeal of the written decision of the Superintendent in the following order utilizing the same above-described format:
- Board of Education - Based on the decision of the Board of Education to affirm, reject, or modify the district’s action in the matter, the individual may file a petition of appeal of the written decision; to
- Executive County Superintendent (investigation must be completed within 60 days) - Based on the decision of the Executive County Superintendent to affirm, reject, or modify the district’s action in the matter, the individual may file a petition of the appeal of the written decision; to
Commissioner of Education via Office of Controversies and Disputes in accordance with N.J.S.18A:6-9 and the procedures set forth in State Board of Education regulations.
The district's Gifted & Talent Policy can be found HERE.